All parents worry about what will happen to their children in the event of their early death or incapacitation. Parents of special needs children, however, may have reason to worry even more than the average parent. This is because a special needs child will likely need care and protection for life, not just until he or she reaches adulthood. For this reason, if you are the parent of a special needs child you should take the time to create a special needs trust now.
A special needs trust operates in much the same way as any other trust; however, it includes very specific language that protects the assets held in the trust from being considered part of your child’s resources or assets for the purpose of determining eligibility for government assistance programs such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. Because your child may need the benefits offered by these programs for his or her lifetime, you cannot afford to let your gift disqualify him or her.
In addition to protecting the assets that you leave behind from disqualifying your special needs child from assistance, a special needs trust also allows you to appoint someone as trustee to oversee the administration of the trust. Because you cannot be here forever to protect your child, it is imperative that you appoint someone who is both capable and trustworthy to the position of trustee for your special needs trust.